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It is pretty obvious, really. To anyone who has studied History.

Things run in cycles.  There is good, then there is bad. There is then good again as people react to the bad. And eventually an ennui settles in, as people stop reacting to the events, and like turtles just curl up and let others "run" things.

The standard to which all are compared, of course is Ancient Rome due to its influence and longevity.  After all, ruling the world for a 1000 years is a long time.  Until some future enterprise last longer, this then is the mark by which all will be judged...

Like us, Rome was a democracy for its first 200 years.  Then it lost interest; too much work.  And things were settled and stable enough so that if you were a Roman citizen, it really didn't make any difference who was running your country... You lived your life.

So it is with sadness and trepidation, that one looks back on our past 100 years and sees no great progress has been made.  Or better put, if viewed on a graph, we made great progress from the 30's onward, then after 2000, we said "here you go", and gave it all back.  The initial tendency is to blame one political party.  That is too easy, and if used, is used primarily as a distraction to divert attention away from the real problem.

The real problem is capitalism.  Or since most of us think capitalism is good, the real problem should be properly defined as "unfettered" capitalism...  Most of us would agree that "fettered capitalism" isn't so bad.  

Therefore one can look at the history of this nation and see that whenever we put "fetters" on capitalism we did well;  whenever we took them off we suffered.
Even Republicans put fetters on. Teddy Roosevelt busted monopolies.  That fueled growth for two decades, until all fetters were removed under Coolidge and the bottom fell out under Hoover.

From those economic ashes we then built a different system.  

The system we built was to benefit capitalists up to a point, and benefit everyone else afterwards, including the consumer and laborers.
As a result, we had great growth for one reason. Americans had great purchasing power.... We bought things.

If one looks across the scale of the entire economy up and down the past century, and traces simply the bulk items up and down from that time frame to now, one easily sees that the purchasing power of Americans has eroded considerably since 2000.  This was conveniently hid during the last Republican presidency by their use of averages.... If Bill Gates walks into a bar, the average net worth of all those patrons inside, just jumps up $20 billion.  What was hidden in being told the average American was doing better and better, was that one person was doing better by so much, he covered the losses of all those who were doing worse.

One person cannot buy as much as do 315 million people.  

So our national purchasing power as a nation has declined by exactly the opposite amount the rich have gotten richer.
To paraphrase Perot, a giant vacuum cleaner has sucked all the money we need, right out of the economy...

It is because a massive psychological shift has occurred in this country since 2000.  

Today when choosing to make a decision, we first choose to ponder.... how does this decision we are considering affect our money,... This is our prime value.  In the past it used to go like this:  how does this decision affect the lives and dreams of real human beings.

We simply have shifted our priorities...  

Money is more important.  People are expendable.
Some who don't share the view that America is exceptional will argue "so what?".  That has always been the history of the world.  The poor serve at the benefit of the rich. Always.  As in Rome, if one entertains them enough and distracts them with enough gore and blood, the poor will leave you alone.

True. But some who lived through an America that was better than that, would like to have it back.

To them, money doesn't matter.  They can print more of it every day.  But a human being is unique.  There is no one like it anywhere else in the world.  Nor will there ever be another just like anyone here right now.
This same concept and belief motivated Jefferson when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. People were deemed to be the property of the king.  That simply is what a king was.  Jefferson took that on and stated that "All men are created equal."  It was a novel concept back then; one most Europeans took to mark him as quite crazy. "All men are created equal; ha, ha, ha, ha ha...

But the reality of that is true. Even though every baby coming down the birth canal has differences, if one were to switch babies at birth, they each could turn out as well as the other... Inside of all of us, there is not much genetic difference between us....

If America is to remain different across the course of history, it needs to return to its philosophical roots.

Accept that we are a nation of people; not investments.  If we do treasure our investments, it is solely because they benefit our people as a whole, they do not exist solely at the expense of them.
The time has come where we need to twist our priorities.  America needs to focus on its people. Not its wealth. The decisions we start making now need to be based on and geared to "how does this benefit human beings".  Not on how much does this cost...

Saving money is sometimes good.  But killing someone to save 50 cents is a mis-direction of priorities.  And that is the direction we seem to be headed.

For now. Listen to those asking for your vote.  Do they want to give you opportunity?  Or are they just chasing dollar signs and using you to get them?

You can tell by their stance on taxes.  

If they want to raise taxes on the rich, they are good people. You are at the core of their heart.  If they don't they are bad.
 This is a non-partisan issue.  A Republican who agrees to raise taxes is good people.  Likewise, a Democrat who is against it, is not....

Ask everyone if they are for raising the tax on capital gains to where it was back during the 90's.  If they say no, ... ditch them and find someone who is....

If enough people do, we can still save this nation.  Even despite which party gets into political office....

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Comment Preferences

  •  The top long term capital gains rate in the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep

    90s was 28% and in 1998 it dropped to 20%. It's currently 23.8% (all in) so it's not far from the top 1990s rate.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 09:46:49 AM PST

    •  If total American Assets are 188 trillion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      and we assume a growth rate of 10%... 5% extra taxed of that yearly income would be how much?

      ($940 billion)

      That extra 5% would pay a few bills.  And the down side? ...  You are not getting super rich as fast.  You are still getting super rich, just not as fast.

  •  Simplistic to absurdity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SouthernLeveller
    This is a non-partisan issue.  A Republican who agrees to raise taxes is good people.  Likewise, a Democrat who is against it, is not....
    For instance, sales taxes are inherently regressive, because poorer folk actually spend more of their income than richer folk.

    Somebody can easily feel that a sales tax is not an appropriate funding mechanism, because it will weigh heavier on the poor, and the rich will essentially get a free ride.

    Personally, I find purity tests to be most useful during grade school sleepovers.

    •  Who even considerers Sales Taxes? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IsaacKuo

      no one I know.  Since no one considers them ever, at all, they weren't even part of the equation...

      But now that you brought them up completely out of the blue, I would grant that in that interpretation, your point is quite valid.  Someone who wants to jack up sales taxes to cut taxes on the rich, is not a good person.  A good person is one who wants to tax the wealthy, and has the balls to to it.

      But seriously ....(no snark)....  I'd be interested to know.... who even cares about sales taxes anymore?  This is 2013.

  •  Rome was never (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn

    a democracy. It was a republic, but not even a democratic republic like we're supposed to be. Athens was the birthplace of democracy, though Ben Franklin and other of our Founders also copied much from the Iriquois Federation.

    "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. http://www.kynect.ky.gov/ for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

    by SouthernLeveller on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 10:02:32 AM PST

    •  True, if you want to be a purist (0+ / 0-)

      But for practical matters "democracy" and "republic" are interchangeable.  Although the US is actually a  republic, all we ever hear in political speeches is that we are a "true democracy"...  it is because  when spoken so, we are comparing ourselves against  totalitarians.

      In language, common use is 9/10th's of the standard.
      •  The Roman Republic was not a democracy. (0+ / 0-)

        It was an oligarchy run by a small number of aristocrats, similar to feudal Europe. The Gracchi tried to make it more inclusive, and got killed for their pains. When Julius Caesar overthrew the Republic his main supporters were the plebeians.

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